© Copyright 2007 Sarah Barnard
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All characters and locations within this work are fictitious and any resemblance to real people or places is entirely coincidental.
Cover design by Jeff Madden.
It was just after midnight as PC Peter White walked steadily along the familiar pavement. As he walked along the wooden fence the moon caught a flash of metal amongst the trees. He paused by a gate and unhooked his torch to shine it into the woods.
The young police constable approached the dark, abandoned car carefully. His breath steamed from him in clouds and he stamped his feet. His collar was turned up and a scarf was tucked inside to keep the chill from his neck. Thickly padded uniform gloves didn’t keep all of the cold from his fingers.
The car was a deep forest green saloon, with a large dent in the front passenger door. The driver door was hanging open but the interior light was off. The engine was cold and silent as he shone his torch through the window of the passenger door. The car was clearly empty. He reached for his radio but only got static. He banged it a few times and swore. He looked around but there was no-one there. The keys were still hanging from the ignition so he turned the key back and forth and got nothing. The battery was clearly dead. He took the keys to open the boot, which was empty. While he was at the boot he rocked the car to see if he could hear petrol in the tank but again there was nothing. He took a look at the tyres, nothing wrong with them. Then he cast the torch around the closest trees. There was no sign of anyone so he walked back to the edge of the woods, where he knew there would be a better signal for the radio. He was almost surprised the woods hadn’t been checked already. Only almost, everyone had assumed she had run off on her own. There had been no hint of anything suspicious until now.